2020 James Beard Award winners

Seira Wilson on May 28, 2020
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2020 James Beard Award winners

While we may miss the fanfare of a big awards ceremony, it doesn't take away from the recognition and prestige that comes with being awarded a James Beard medal. Some of these winning cookbooks appeared on our own lists of the best cookbooks of 2019, so it was thrilling to see them become not only a finalist, but take home the prize. Here are some of the books and authors that now have "James Beard Award winner" added to their list of accomplishments.



The Whole Fish Cookbook: New Ways to Cook, Eat and Think by Josh Niland

Winner: Cookbook of the Year

This is an amazing cookbook. It was one of our editors' picks when it published last year and a gem for both home cooks and professionals. Josh Niland is the chef/owner of Saint Peter, a fish restaurant in Sydney, Australia, where he also opened the continent's first sustainable fish monger called The Fish Butchery. The Whole Fish Cookbook introduces new ways of thinking about, and preparing fish, with 60 recipes and lavish photographs including instructional photos for butchering, curing, and more.


Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking by Toni Tipton-Martin

Winner: American 

Jubilee is as much a cultural history through food as it is a cookbook. Tipton-Martin showcases African American cuisine through beloved recipes and the stories that go with them. A remarkable amount of research went into writing Jubilee, as Tipton-Martin uncovered the roots of familiar dishes, and variations that have evolved over the years. Some recipes have been updated while others remain as they always have been, but each has a distinct feel of time and place. Jubilee is beautifully photographed and a pleasure to read.


The NoMad Cocktail Book by Leo Robitschek

Winner: Beverage with Recipes 

When this book arrived in the office I immediately snatched it up and took it home. The NoMad Cocktail Book is a stand-alone version of the book originally included within The NoMad Cookbook, now expanded to nearly 300 cocktail recipes and filled with even more full-color illustrations.  Award-winning bar director Leo Robitschek, of the NoMad Bar, shares his unique style and approach to the art of making fantastic drinks, whether it's taking inspiration from a classic, highlighting a rare spirit, or creating your own syrups and infusions.


Where Cooking Begins: Uncomplicated Recipes to Make You a Great Cook by Carla Lalli Music

Winner: General

Taking inspiration from the food she cooks at home, Carla Lalli Music, the food director at Bon Appétit, shares more than 70 flexible recipes in her award-winning cookbook. Where Cooking Begins has a relaxed approach that is inviting and inspiring, filled with foolproof techniques and essential cooking methods that will boost any home cook's confidence.

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Ethiopia: Recipes and Traditions from the Horn of Africa by Yohanis Gebreyesus with Jeff Koehler

Winner: International

A rich introduction to the food of Ethiopia, filled with stories and gorgeous photography. In this cookbook, Yohanis Gebreyesus celebrates the influences and traditions of his native country, and the food of daily life and special occasions. A rare treat for anyone interested in global cuisine that brings an awareness to the exceptional flavors and dishes to be found in this unique part of the world.


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